Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, November 3, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013
WHO’S NOT IN THE LEAD THE NBGP
The usual suspects are in the lead in the New Balance Grand Prix. These are the folks who fill out all nine of the required races and are fast enough to have tallied the points to bring them to the top.
The interesting story this time of the year, with only five weeks to find and run in a required race or races in order to maximize your score, is who has blanks in their score card.
Ken Goglas of Randolph should be in the lead on the men’s side of the ledger. He will have no trouble filling out his card. He lacks a championship Category Two race and next Sunday he could run in the Giralda Farms 10K and if he wins it he will have 700 points to add to his 4,996. That would put him four points away from a perfect 5,700 and the win.
If Goglas misses the 10K he would still have the Thanksgiving morning race in Glen Rock; the Ashenfelter 8K. It is the open and masters championship so he should be expected to run for his club.
So Goglas appears to be a shoe-in for his gender’s top prize. But over on the flip side is his fellow Garden State Track Club star Cheyenne Ogletree of Garfield. Like Goglas, Ogletree wins races. But Ogletree is shy four races. She can find a 5K easily enough, but she would have to plan carefully to get the other races.
Lacking both a championship and non championship Category Two race she needs to get the Giralda Farms 10K or the Ashenfelter 8K and she must also run in the one and only remaining non championship race in that category, the Westfield five mile Turkey Trot on November 30th. Ogletree also needs a non championship Category Three race and because of that she has run out of options.
There are two races on the New Jersey schedule that would fit that category but they are not in the New Balance Grand Prix. Ogletree will be roughly 500 points out of first place even if she gets the other three races. No, the sleeper is not Ogletree.
No, the sleeper is right here in Morris County. Elena Rozhko of Morristown was at the Great Swamp Devil 15K last Sunday and finished in tenth place overall in 59:32.45 and first woman. That gave her 500 points in Category Three and finishes that category for her. Now all that she needs is a championship in Category Two and she can get it next Sunday or on Thanksgiving morning. While Rozhko won’t have a perfect score she will pass all the other women and take the top prize of $500.00 in the grand prix.
The Giralda Farms 10K is the masters women’s USATF championship. Some of the masters women may wonder at the choice of the race for their championship. It has to be the most difficult of all the championship 10K’s in the line-up. In the six plus miles are three substantial hills to climb and yes, what goes up must also go down, but those climbs take a lot out of a runner.
While those hills hurt, the event itself is well coordinated by the Rose City Runners. The club has hosted the race for nearly all of its 29 editions. The race has changed over the years as the site, the Giralda Farms corporate campus has also changed. Where runners once parked on the grassy expanse at the former Geraldine Dodge estate, they now are directed into the parking garage in the center of the complex.
A 5K was added several years ago and both races start together promptly at noon. Back of the pack runners enjoy a stunning visual at the start. The fast runners lead all the rest in a serpentine line down through the middle of the complex creating a colorful moving ribbon of runners.
This is one race to plan for an early arrival; before 11 a.m. at least, to avoid the inevitable back-up at the parking garage.
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at firstname.lastname@example.org.